Winter time: reflection, reading, rest

This autumn leading into this December, I’ve been incredibly busy with teaching and writing, yet I’ve also been feeling the need to contemplate.

It’s a turning inward, a type of hibernation that gives me time to think and allow a creative space to form – somewhere that the unknown will thrive and flourish.

I was delighted to see that writer and artist Clare Mulvany is hosting ten Poetry Salons online – a space in which to listen to poetry and consider what it might mean to you. I’ve just finished listening to the first Poetry Salon with poems by Mary Oliver and Rachel Holstead. What a fantastic way to open the door to our creative selves….Check out Clare’s Poetry Salon here and have a listen!

As a postscript, I just found a video I made at the edge of Dromineer lake some time ago and listening to the sound of the water has just put a smile on my face.

Ireland’s Green Larder – an exciting new book coming soon

I love when books that so deserve to be published are out in the hands of the readers of the world.

One which I am looking forward to in 2018 is Ireland’s Green Larder by Galway-based writer and artist Margaret Hickey. Her publishers Unbound describe it as ” A glorious ramble down the centuries telling the story of food and drink in Ireland.” How wonderful. It also has recipes which I’m really excited about.

Consider supporting Margaret’s book here. And below, a little more information on Ireland’s Green Larder. 

Margaret Hickey’s book, Ireland’s Green Larder, tells for the first time the story of food and drink in Ireland from the ancient field system of the Ceide Fields, established a thousand years before the Pyramids were built, right up to today’s thriving food scene. Rather than focusing on battles and rulers, she digs down to what has formed the day-to-day life of the people. It’s a glorious ramble down the centuries, drawing on diaries, letters, legal texts, ballads, government records, folklore and more. The story of how Queen Maeve died after being hit by a piece of hard cheese sits alongside a contemporary interview with one of Ireland’s magnificent cheese makers, and Jonathan Swift’s complaint about dubiously fresh salmon is countered by the tale of the writer’s day trip on the wild Atlantic coast, collecting the world’s freshest native oysters.

Recipes are dotted throughout the book and there’s a chapter on the Irish rituals and superstitions associated with food and drink. In no country has the contrast between feast and famine been greater than in Ireland. Margaret Hickey has written a lively, stimulating book with the daily human experience at its heart – in it you’ll find a larderful of food for thought.